By Steve Nelson
The world is fantastic at times, especially when different kinds of people stand together in unity. The best example is the body of Christ, with a huge variety of people serving and working together to accomplish the impossible. This group, although physically different, has “common spiritual genetics” with each individual in God’s family. However, without spiritual understanding, any person can get pulled into the world‘s petty conflicts, where exaggerated physical differences are used to divide, criticize and harm.
In this article we’ll look at five of these categories. Each will include a couple of rhetorical questions to help us think, some insight on God’s “opinion” (Truth) as learned from the Bible, then finally a Scripture.
- Race: A) Why do people care so much about skin color when God does not? B) Since a person cannot choose nor alter their genetics, why are people judged by physical characteristics?
Humans have varying shades of the brown pigment melanin, which designates skin tone, simply a physical trait. Yet what defines a person’s quality is not about the outer appearance, rather it is the heart where God looks. Humans, however, still compare outwardly due to spiritual immaturity. Racism is an excessive physical emphasis. It ignores the spiritual qualities that actually matter, which are those behavioral choices for each individual: thoughts, words and actions. Ignorance of God’s wisdom and fear are two of the reasons why people attack others who are different than themselves. The emphasis on life, as taught by Jesus and others in the Bible, is about helping others, no matter if short, tall, big, small or if blue, green, orange or purple.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
- Culture: A) Since there is only one true God, our common Creator, why do some suggest God favors people within certain political borders? B) Since God is not guided by favoritism, why do some suggest that when and where they were born indicates they are loved by God more than others born at different times and places?
Despite tunnel vision and bias, people often think their own particular generation and way of life is better than others in the eyes of God. However, principles of the Word of God endure across every generation and supersede every fleeting trend and custom. No individual is measured merely on their location or time in history, but rather their decisions to love God and others, or not, related to their own unique circumstances. Humans are constantly criticizing others, while elevating themselves. Yet, it is not a question of what we do in comparison to others, but rather what we do with the potential and opportunities we specifically were given. God is the God of all. No person is ever measured by God in comparison to another person.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. (Romans 14:13)
- Gender: A) Contradicting the heroic image of a loving and strong father, why do the media and Hollywood continue to emasculate the image of fathers by pushing constant stereotypes of weak, stupid men who cannot lead their own families or parent their own children successfully? B) Despite clear instructions in the Bible for dads and moms to work together, why do some men suggest they do not have to participate in parenting, but can dodge this responsibility and leave it all on the shoulders of the mothers to do the child raising alone?
Men and woman are distinct, each having unique strengths, weaknesses, authority and influence. However, from a spiritual point of view, no matter if male or female, everyone has an equal chance to believe God or not. This believing involves action. Merely acknowledging God’s existence isn’t that noteworthy, since even the devil himself knows God exists, as an example. Believing is a verb which corresponds to action in following and obeying the guidance in life by God, found in the Bible. No gender is ever inferior, nor spiritually advantageous, in the eyes of God.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
- Age: A) Why do societies, in particular via social media, continue to show unbalanced regard for the opinions of youth at the expense of the wisdom of the elderly? B) Conversely, in other scenarios, why do many disregard the opinions of young people, assuming they don’t have a valuable contribution merely because they have less experience?
Societies must better utilize the combination of youthful enthusiasm and mature wisdom. From a person’s first breath until their last, God is fully involved in the life of each person. Therefore there is no question of what God does, but rather what we as individuals do in response to God’s love. Neither seasoned experience nor young energy are the most important factors to validate if a contribution is valuable or not. The ultimate measure of quality is in those ideas that are in harmony with the Word of God. Young or old, our lives will be successful at every stage as we walk with God.
The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. (Proverbs 20:29)
- Social Class: A) Why do people in the world so often define “success” in proportion to their amount of money? B) Why do so many people abuse the generosity of governments and private groups, instead of working hard to provide for themselves?
If rich, middle class or poor, God is the one we should aim to please with our conduct in life and our efforts to have genuine prosperity. Society treats people differently based on their income bracket, yet we can treat all people with respect, no matter what economic level a person is labeled. Grace, mercy, compassion and kindness are a part of life, with each person needing help at different times and in different ways, for a season. Tough financial times happen even to righteous individuals when Satan thwarts believers from prospering. But God rescues people financially.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 2)
Let’s move ahead with confidence, enjoying what makes us all unique. What a joy life can be when we realize what we have in common as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!
Steve Nelson has been a Bible teacher for over 25 years. This article comes from “Common Spiritual Genetics” Segments 31-35 of “CORE”, a course for families on how to read and understand the Bible. See T4FAMILYCENTER.COM or reach Steve at T4FamilyCenter@gmail.com.